Four Poets Series

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  • 8/4/2019 Four Poets Series


    Bruce Curley

    [email protected]


    Poetry pulled from the Four Poets Series submission.

    a dream of love

    we make love-----

    and all

    the pent-up power

    within her

    is unleashed

    and I

    am swept past

    great cities

    that came and went

    armies that changed maps

    and prophets

    who threw out the call

    until finally

    crystalline figures

    line the dwelling

    and I

    am totally in aweof her shape

    and strength


    who won herfrom her father

    and brothers

    in a fight

    that almost

    cost my life


    who had

    some part

    in the children

    who burst forth

    from her

    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]
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    who never


    comprehend her

    even realize

    that right now

    she consumes me

    she absorbs

    my strength and life

    and determine

    what direction

    they take

    I follow her

    deep into space

    past galaxies

    and years

    to glimpse


    life and thoughtour destiny

    lived now

    lived before

    lived tomorrow

    all as one

    for this knowledge ------I follow.

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    Of Your Earthen Body

    This water gains power

    and flows full,

    increasing in pressureUntil it runs into

    The forest.................., the dam..................

    ...............the massive dike.

    The pressure builds ------------

    And this life giving


    pushes and slams

    Seeks some final release

    until it can no longer

    be contained


    And nature demands

    her satisfaction

    and pulls the waves

    with a full-bodied moonThat y..a..n..k..s the water


    the vacuum.

    It is here life lives

    here the soul dances

    here evolution rules

    Until, there is no quiet.

    There is no peace.

    There is only the answer,

    "Because there is no other!"

    To my eternal question, "WHY!"


    I scream in surrender

    As the seed-bearing water

    overflows the dam,

    enters the fertilevalley,

    And embeds silently

    In the reservoir

    Of your earthen body.

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    The Day After

    I awaken...... vague stirrings....

    ...of dreams...

    Was there......

    .......who handled me clean?

    In the nights remembrance....

    .....sounds of streams....

    My strength was dismantled.......

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    Eamons Poem

    Kicking your mother

    from inside the liquid universe of the womb...

    I feel so crippled and broken when considering

    I have so much to teach you

    and only the remaining lifetime to do so.

    It is hopeless, really, except these two gems

    that came down from a long, long line

    of men and women who survived centuries of Vikings

    whose barbarity was only surpassed

    by the neighbor invader who considered genocide

    by the rule of law such a jolly good adventure

    and stole all the food in the very middle

    of the famine of all famines.

    Through it all, your ancestors survived

    tenaciously creative and green as mosson the back of a stone on the gentle Shannon river

    and these two gems skip across that great river

    to the Delaware where once, when wondering

    of ancestral roots I asked my father,"Dad, what is it to be American?"

    "Work!" "What?" I asked.

    "Work!" he repeated. "Your grandfather worked.

    I worked. You'll work." "That's all?"

    "That's all." he answered.

    "Then what is it to be Irish?""Hilarity!" He didn't skip a beat again.

    "Hilarity!" You gotta make 'em laugh!"

    So there it is, Eamon Patrick.

    If God takes me before I get to teach you

    all you need to know, let these two words suffice:

    work and hilarity.

    Work and hilarity saved your people

    over centuries of warfare, pestilence, invasion,

    slavery, defeat, and famine and eventually defeated

    the greatest power on earth so I could write you this poem.

    Work and hilarity can carry you to the universe

    and to other planets and when you find

    a particularly hard planet, name it "Work"

    and when you find an especially funny planet,

    name it "Hilarity."

    No matter what the planet or year,

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    work and hilarity are in your genes

    as am I, and all of my dreams.

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    My True Home


    this morningI awoke

    so in love with you

    that inside

    a cloud BURST


    to lift me high above

    the city lights

    over highways

    and country roads

    to an oak cabin

    in the woods

    where by a fireof apple and peach tree

    I laid my head

    against your lap

    and found theremy true home.

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    The Life Cycle

    A small boy

    is carried

    from a car


    His father,


    transports the child

    from car to house.

    Years later,

    when the boy

    carried the father

    gently to the grave,

    and remembered

    powerful arms,


    him once,

    from somewhere,

    to somewhere,the life cycle --

    was complete.

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    Words Never Die

    When they ask you at school,

    "And what does your father do?"

    Tell them he is a craftsman,

    A craftsman of fine words.

    A craftsman in the Medieval sense.

    A man who takes pride in sculpting

    Completed poems out of a vast quarry

    Of known but inartistically used language.

    And when they say,"But isn't that a rather unproductive

    And silly occupation for a full grown man?"

    Say to them back:

    "No. His words may survive intact,

    While your father's money is spent,

    And your father's property is divided,

    And your father's corporation is absorbed,

    And your father's wife grows old and dies.

    But words cannot be spent, divided, absorbed or die.

    Words never die; only the people who poorly use them."

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    Mid-Night Milk Run



    of mentoo willing

    to go

    for a gallon

    of milk at night.

    Such time



    amounts of time

    to hand the bookie

    or the dope dealer

    or the other womanor any number

    of temptations

    family money

    or the pathto your

    mans heart.

    So when he returns

    with that gallon of milk

    always check it twice:

    Once to make sure

    all the creamhasnt been skimmed

    from the top;

    And once to make

    absolutely sure

    both he and the milk

    are still pure and white.

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    The Last Rose

    The last rose of the season

    remains uncut on the rose bush

    in the unnoticed corner of the yard

    by the crumbling yellow pine fence.

    I could, it is true, cut it

    and bring it to you, as before;

    Or simply snip it and place it

    in the Waterford vase in the kitchen...

    but it is the end of the season.

    This ruined Fall could soon be Winter.

    The days with no talk could be weeks

    Until the weeks are years, and divorce.

    No, that rose will remain where it is.When it dies, its stem attaches to roots

    That are strong in minerals, dirt, water.

    And Spring has so much renewal to give.

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    forces women control men's lives by

    there are forces

    that erupt,

    tear apart,spill out,


    and reerupt,

    in vast spaces.....

    vast spaces

    of no entrance

    or exit

    vast interior spaces


    by no exteriors


    within bodies

    within soulswithin bodies


    that exist



    than galaxies


    spaces to be entered



    for fear

    of no return


    where life

    determines life

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    within these places

    there are forces

    quite unknowable

    whose only


    is a woman's lovethe birth of a child

    forces men

    can touch

    but never


    forces women


    men's lives by

    which menas many times ask

    will never



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    The Comedians Choice

    Two Comedians pummeled an audience with jokes.

    They jabbed at their collective neurosis.

    Swung wildly at their latent fears.

    Then kicked them right in their lifestyles.

    After the round was over,

    The comedians returned to a corner table

    Filled with beautiful women and booze

    And sat there nervously trying to calm their anxiety.

    Sitting there,

    With a choice between the women, the anxiety and the booze,Both men raised their fists to sup their glasses dry,

    Ordered doubles, and tapped their feet nervously.

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    Reflections on New Surroundings

    Pigeons watch from above

    an L-shaped streetlight

    the afternoon procession

    of afterwork urban manandwoman

    home to loved ones, television,

    dinner, outside interests or no one.

    Old gray bearded wino

    with rayon purple scarf on neck

    perched in front of TEMPLE BEVERAGES


    (contraband up from the tobacco fieldsof red clay Piedmont South).

    Down 17th Street ONE WAY

    drive white orange black Capital Cabsblue and white with red roof

    sirened 96 CAPITAL POLICE cars


    all knowing LEFT LANE MUST TURN LEFT.

    Along the sidewalk a young Iranian student

    newly arrived to the Land of Opportunity

    tries not to look so foreignby wearing clothes he bought

    in American Made in Taiwan.

    At Saint Matthew's Cathedral

    Sanctus Matthaus gold and red tiled

    on the front holding Bible saying,


    while below him entering and leaving

    church goers look forward past

    old crippled beggar

    with black ski cap for spare change

    in hand and wooden crutch by side.

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    Highway Poem for Colleen


    I crash down Highway 98

    Shouting your name

    Screaming your praisesRemembering other highways.....

    76 Schuylkill Expressway swift

    Liberty Bell love long cast

    Philadelphia Art Museum strong

    Wissahickon Creek Green Valley winding

    Delaware River Deep

    Billy Penn Principled

    St. Peter's and Paul's blessed.

    I look over to see.....Your face laughing

    Your face puzzledYour face angelic

    Your face enveloping

    My soul

    until your handReached across the distance

    to take my hand between

    Until your hand

    Became life itself for me

    an anchor in an anonymous

    And frightening urban sea.

    Where your hand

    Provided a warm and loving homeAfter cruel, unrelenting city storms.


    78 Florida fun funny

    Gray and pink racing porpoises

    Discovering Corinthians wisdom

    While exceeding the legal limit

    Kaleidoscope of car colors

    Exploding in an orange sun

    Blue-skyed canvas of cars

    Cars more numerous than sand.

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    I looked over to see.....Your face perturbed

    Your face petulant

    Your face pedantic

    Your face prism

    Reflecting my soul

    Surprised at its power

    To love........To hurtTo run.......To return

    To take.......To give

    To break......To survive.

    When your head rested

    Flush with sleep and dreams

    On my lap as I drove

    I would have fought the whole world

    Before anyone would have harmed you.


    95 Kennedy Space Center potential

    Rockets of love launched

    Booster rockets in reserve

    Space station steadyStars as loves highlights

    Suns burning at night

    Whole universes to be explored

    Worlds over years to spin lore.

    I looked over to see.......Your face bright

    Your face light

    Your face confusedYour face eternal

    Absorbing my soul

    So that when I said

    I might walk away

    And you cried softly

    In truth as well could I

    Ignore gravity

    Walk from my family

    Walk from God's love

    Walk from Heaven's Angels.

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    84 Deep South Bible Backbone

    Tiny Bible churches of conviction

    The Word is The Word is The Word

    Trees so big they wore clouds

    Sun so brilliant it blindedCountry stores of country caring

    Country ways of country sharing

    Clay and grace, earth, and rebirth.

    The cycle of nature ever present.

    I looked over to see.......Your face absent

    Your face somewhere

    Your face memory

    Your face paining

    straining my soul

    I drove but in a daze

    Half expecting you to appearAt each country gas station

    Or store

    But there were only

    Shadows of youThat disappeared

    And reappeared in mists

    and midnight forest

    Until finally......


    I crash down Highway 98

    Shouting your name

    Singing your praises

    Remembering other highways.....

    Remembering there are

    Miles of highway

    In this land alone

    Yet to be explored.

    Over the miles of telephone line

    I hear your voice.

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    Over galaxies of futures......

    I promise to crash down

    Shouting your name

    Screaming your praises

    Remembering other highways......

    Each old star a memory bought

    Each new star a memory sought

    For you......for you.....for you.....

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    Poetry Work Ethic

    ...Then theres the poetry work ethicDifferent from any other work ethic

    because it derives from hidden places

    and screams,You write down this poem NOW!!!

    Write the poem down...

    despite the baby screaming to be changed,

    for food, for a bottle, for attention

    Write the poem down...

    despite the stabbing back pain

    that cleaves the bodyinto two separate bodies

    each separate but greater as two

    Write the poem NOW...

    despite the boss over the shoulder

    always asking, I hope thats our work

    your doing on on our nickel?

    yet unwilling to accpet the answer,Yes! The work of God.Yes! The work of the Muse.

    Yes!..The work of ages...

    Write the poem NOW!!!

    Despite the impediments of family

    body, and the day time job

    if it is to last into the next milleneaum

    or even the next hour.